Meet the 2018 Holland Fellows

Twelve outstanding students from the Walker College of Business recently "met" their research partners from Fudan University in Shanghai, China for the first time. On reading day of the fall semester, the Walker students convened at 8:30 pm to interact via Zoom web conference with their Chinese partners (it was 8:30 am the next day in Shanghai). The meeting was the first of many interactions that these twenty-four students will share as Holland Fellows, culminating in the joint presentation of their research at the Shanghai Economic Forum in May 2018.

The Holland Fellowship

The Holland Fellows from Appalachian were selected to participate in the William R. Holland Fellowship for Business Study in Asia after a rigorous application and interview process. The Holland Fellowship is an applied business experience in Asia, with an emphasis on student research, engagement and innovation. Made possible through the generous support of donors, most notably William R. Holland, the fellowship serves to advance global learning while promoting research and collaboration among the college's top undergraduate students, faculty and Fudan counterparts. The 20+ year partnership with Fudan University provides the foundation for an experience that brings different economic models into sustained conversation with each other and creates a context for understanding how regions, nations and peoples might collaborate for mutual benefit in a global business environment.

The Academics

While their fellow Appalachian students are on winter break, the Holland Fellows will begin their research. Over the course of the spring semester, they will complete their work and prepare for their time in China through a three-semester-hour course taught by Holland Fellows faculty leader, Dr. Betty Coffey,  which will include both business and culture readings and lectures as well as Chinese language lessons. The Appalachian fellows will host their Fudan partners on campus in Boone March 10-25. Then, in May, the Appalachian students will travel to China for a three-week, faculty-led program under the leadership of Dr. Coffey, program director Jesse Pipes and cultural experience lead, Assistant Vice Chancellor Matt Dull.

The fellows are looking forward to all of this hard work. Brandon Wilkerson shared that his hope is to "gain an understanding for the differences in cultures, people and countries while discovering opportunities to collaborate and network with peers from Appalachian and Fudan Universities." Jessica Robinson aims to "gain a new perspective of the world and learn as much as [she] can about Chinese economy and culture." Javon Nathaniel is looking forward to being exposed to "new sets of views that challenge the way [he] thinks and perceives the world."

"Congratulations to our 2018 Holland Fellows," said Walker College of Business Global Engagement Specialist Meredith Church Pipes. "We wish them much success in their ventures."

Meet the Fellows

  • Kathryn Armstrong is a senior Hospitality and Tourism Management major from Cary.
  • David Bagnal is a senior Computer Information Systems and International Business double major from Wilmington.
  • Ary Bautista Hernandez is a senior marketing major from Newton. 
  • Alia Dahlan is a senior Finance and Banking and Risk Management and Insurance double major from Asheville.
  • John "Jack" Emerson is a senior Economics, International Business and Spanish triple major from Charlotte.
  • Mari-Ejalai Isikhuemhen is a senior International Economics major originally from Tartu, Estonia.
  • Javon Nathaniel is a senior International Business & Marketing major from Charlotte.
  • Jessica Robinson is a junior International Economics major from Cary.
  • Nelson Russ is a junior International Business major from Clemmons.
  • Jordan Salamido is a senior International Business major with a Chinese minor from Cary. 
  • Emily Turner is a senior supply chain management major with a Chinese minor from Waxhaw.
  • Brandon Wilkerson is a junior Risk Management and Insurance major from Mechanicsville, Virginia.

Get Involved

If you are a high-performing Walker College of Business major with an interest in international business and would like more information about the Holland Fellowship, visit the program webpage or contact Meredith Church Pipes.

If you or someone you know would like to contribute to the Holland Fellowship or other international opportunities for Walker College of Business students, contact Will Sears.

Want to follow the Fellows on their ventures? Photos from the 2018 program will be periodically posted to the 2018 Holland Fellows photo gallery.

Pictured: Standing(left to right) Matt Dull, Dean Heather Norris, Jack Emerson, Nelson Russ, Javon Nathaniel, Brandon Wilkerson, David Bagnal, Marie-Ejalai Isikhuemen, Jesse Pipes, Dr. Betty Coffey, Dr. Martin Meznar; Seated(left to right) Jessica Robinson, Emily Turner, Kathryn Armstrong, Ary Bautista, Alia Dahlan. Not pictured: Jordan Salamido
Published: Dec 21, 2017 11:11am